That stake, which valued Cloudera at a whopping $4.1 billion, carries with it some awkward provisions, as laid out in Cloudera's IPO prospectus on Friday.
In the filing, Intel is listed as owning 22 percent of the company before the offering. Far from just a financial interest, Intel has been developing and marketing products with Cloudera to bring more big data capabilities to Intel's data center processors.
Cloudera's database software, built on open source code, helps businesses perform complicated analysis of disparate data. Its products run on standard hardware, and Intel is aiming to use Cloudera's tools as a draw for big customers.
As far as ownership, Intel has limited ability to bolster its control of Cloudera from here and thus determine its future course.